Hayley and Chuck

How We Met

We met on 12/13/13 which was a Friday the 13th while I was hostessing at the Gordon Biersch where I work. Chuck had been a regular there for a few years and I had always seen him come in but had never talked to him before that day. He came in on crutches and I asked him what he needed the crutches for, since it seemed like an easy conversation starter. He had a broken leg (he was not in a cast) and since he couldn’t do much he felt he deserved a beer that day. We chatted for the rest of my shift and when I was done, I stayed to talk to him some more. What started as just one beer for him turned into us talking for seven hours. Immediately I knew that I had met a very special man.

How He Asked

We had gone to Disneyland in April 2014 to celebrate my 23rd birthday since Disneyland is my favorite place and while we were there I had told that my dream proposal would be in Disneyland but it would happen while Disneyland is decorated for the holidays, my family would be there to see it and a photographer would be taking pictures to capture the entire proposal and my nails would be done. I only ever mentioned this to him once. In April 2015, the weekend of my 24th birthday, we registered for our first half-marathon that would be held in Disneyland on 11/15/15. When we registered, I asked my family if anyone could come with us as I thought it would be fun for them to see us run our first half-marathon. They all said they would be unable to go for one reason or another. As the trip neared, I kept asking my parents to watch our puppy, Sven (named after a Disney character), but they never gave me an answer. They finally told me that they were thinking of coming to Disneyland as well since it had been a few years since the whole family had been when it was decorated for the holidays and my sisters would be joining as well. My mind had been so consumed with running and training that I suspected anything was going on. A couple of my friends were convinced he was going to propose but since we had never looked at rings together and I wanted a very specific style of ring, I told them it wasn’t going to happen and we were just going to Disneyland for the run.

The day before the run we had a family breakfast and my mom mentioned that she wanted to take family photos by the Christmas Tree in California Adventure since she wanted to do a Christmas card this year so she told me to dress nice that day. Since this was the day before our run my mind was only focused on that so I still never suspected anything was going to happen. We took a few family photos and my mom suggested that we take couples photos as well so Chuck and I went first. We started taking our photos and in the middle of our shoot, Chuck got down on one knee and held a black velvet box that contained the ring I always dreamed would be my engagement ring. With my family watching, in Disneyland with Christmas decorations as our backdrop and a photographer capturing the whole thing he asked me to marry him. I would swear that in that moment, we were the only people in the park. The only thing I remember is kissing Chuck and telling him yes. After joyously accepting and many minutes of happy crying, I discovered that he had been planning the proposal with my family since April when we signed up for the run. The next day, I ran my first half-marathon and finished in 2:08:08  and got to celebrate with my fiancé and family, the way I always dreamed. I truly understood why Disneyland is the place “Where Dreams Come True”

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